This Week In History – Exactly Three Months Ago. Week of October 8, 2010. From The World’s Only Week-By-Week News and Pop Website.

From the www.mrpophistory.com and mrpopculture.com archives.

Week of October 8, 2010 in News and Pop Culture:

A mushrooming crisis over potential flaws in foreclosure documents is threatening to throw the real estate industry into chaos, as Bank of America on Friday became the first bank to stop taking back tens of thousands of foreclosed homes in all 50 states. The move, along with another decision on foreclosures by PNC Financial Services Inc., adds to growing concerns that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers, without verifying the information in them.

In another White House shake up, President Barack Obama on Friday announced that his national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, was stepping down after helping to shape the foreign policy for nearly two years Tom Donilon, Jones’ deputy, will take over as the top security adviser.

China has long wanted a Nobel prize. Now that it has one, its leaders are furious. The Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday, lending encouragement to China’s dissident community and sending a rebuke to the authoritarian government, which sharply condemned the award

Abbott Laboratories says it is withdrawing its diet pill Meridia in the U.S. and Canada, almost a year after studies showed the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with a history of heart disease. Meridia has been available in both countries for more than a decade. Abbott says it made the decision at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the day, Health Canada, the nation’s health department, announced the drug would come off the market there

Pakistan said Saturday (October 9) it will reopen a key border crossing and allow convoys to resume delivering supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, ending a 10-day blockade during which trucks were stranded on their way to the border and almost 150 were destroyed by attackers. Pakistan closed the northwest crossing at Torkham on Sept. 30 in an apparent protest over a NATO helicopter incursion that killed two of its soldiers on the border.

Chile – Sixty-six days after their gold and copper mine collapsed above them, 33 miners were offered a way out Saturday as a drill broke through to their underground purgatory. They should be out in a matter of days. More later.

The Republican candidate for governor, Carl P. Paladino, told a gathering in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Sunday that children should not be “brainwashed” into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable, and criticized his opponent, Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade earlier this year. Addressing Orthodox Jewish leaders, Mr. Paladino described his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Two Americans and a British-Cypriot economist won the 2010 Nobel economics prize Monday for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a large number of job vacancies. Federal Reserve board nominee Peter Diamond was honored along with Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides with the 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) prize for their analysis of the obstacles that prevent buyers and sellers from efficiently pairing up in markets.

A train locomotive rammed through a stalled passenger bus on a railroad crossing in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, killing 43 people and injuring eight others as the bus was pushed 300 meters (yards) down the tracks. Investigators said the bus driver ignored the siren of the oncoming train, and the bus stalled on the tracks as the driver tried to shift gears. Witnesses said the driver also ignored a red light.

A federal judge Tuesday (October 12) ordered the government to stop banning openly gay men and women from serving in the military under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy”. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips found the policy unconstitutional in September. On Tuesday, she rejected an Obama administration request to delay an injunction and ordered enforcement of the 17-year-old policy permanently stopped. The Justice Department has 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the government is under no legal obligation to do so and they could let Phillips’ ruling stand.

The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted the moratorium on deepwater exploratory oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico — provided companies follow new safety rules. “Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume” drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference.

Officials in 50 states and the District of Columbia have launched a joint investigation into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and broke laws in foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homeowners. The states’ attorneys general and bank regulators will examine whether mortgage company employees made false statements or prepared documents improperly.
Chile’s trapped miners were shuttled up a narrow escape shaft to freedom and joyous reunions on Wednesday in a meticulously planned rescue operation that ended the longest underground entrapment in human history. One after another, the miners climbed into a missile-like steel capsule barely wider than a man’s shoulders and took a 15-minute journey through 2,000 feet of rock to the surface. All of the miners were freed Wednesday night in a rescue operation that advanced rapidly without hitches. Scenes of jubilation erupted each time a miner arrived to a hero’s welcome above the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile’s northern Atacama desert. The last miner out was Luis Alberto Urzua, 54, the shift foreman credited with helping the trapped miners endure 17 days in isolation before Chileans discovered the men had survived the mine collapse.

More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first rise in three weeks and evidence that companies are reluctant to hire in a slow economy. Initial claims for unemployment rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was only the second rise in two months.

For the Senate – Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell went on the offensive Wednesday, attacking Democrat Chris Coons as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies. Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate portrayed O’Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting the nation.

Sudan – A former militia leader arrived in Southern Sudan’s capital Thursday to hold peace talks with the president and army leadership, part of an effort by the southern government to project unity ahead of a looming vote on self-determination. The oil-rich, mainly Christian south is due to hold a referendum on independence from the mainly Muslim north in January as part of a peace deal that ended a two-decades-long war between the regions. During that time, more than 2 million people were killed, often the result of the north arming southern groups and encouraging them to fight each other.

Obama’s Health Care Plan Will Have Its Day In Court – Crucial pieces of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care overhaul can go to trial, with a judge ruling Thursday he wants to hear more arguments over whether it’s constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance. In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said it also needs to be decided whether it’s constitutional to penalize people who do not buy insurance with taxes and to require states to expand their Medicaid programs. Another federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week. Vinson set a hearing for Dec. 16. The lawsuits will likely wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

After two days of silence, the Obama administration urged a federal judge on Thursday to let the military press on with its “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. Still, President Barack Obama insisted the policy that has divided the nation for two decades “will end on my watch.” The Pentagon said the military “will of course obey the law” and halt enforcement while the case is still in question. But gay rights advocates cautioned gay service members to avoid revealing their sexuality in the meantime.

For more than a year, CVS Pharmacy Inc. was more than a neighborhood drug store in Southern California and at least four other states. Federal authorities say it was the place of choice for would-be criminals known as “smurfers” to buy a key ingredient used to cook batches of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine. On Thursday, the nation’s largest operator of retail pharmacies announced it had agreed to pay $75 million in fines for allowing repeated purchases of pseudoephedrine that led to a spike in Southern California drug trafficking.

Gap is back to blue. The casual wear chain will keep its decades-old white-on-navy blue logo after all. The move comes just one week after the company swapped it online for a new logo without saying a word. The new logo irritated fans, spurring them to complain about it online. Gap North America president Marka Hansen said in a statement late Monday that the San Francisco-based company realized how much people liked the old logo after they put up the new one, a white background with black letters and a little blue box. She also says Gap didn’t handle the change correctly and missed a chance to have shoppers offer input until it was too late.

American Airlines is recalling about 800 furloughed employees, about 1 percent of its work force, as it adds flights on international routes.

Technology –
Microsoft Phones – With the unveiling of nine Windows Phone 7 phones to be rolled out on four continents this holiday season, Microsoft’s re-entry into the smart phone business is nearly underway. Of the nine, five are coming to America — three from HTC, LG and Samsung go to AT&T, while T-Mobile will sell an additional two, from Dell and HTC. Though the big reveal is this week, the first of the phones won’t be available until November 8. T-Mobile’s main Windows Phone 7 model, the HTC HD7, will have a 4.3-inch screen, one of the largest around. As for the two other major U.S. wireless carriers, Microsoft promises that Verizon and Sprint will have phones in 2011, and that “select models” would be sold at Microsoft Stores and on Amazon. AT&T’s phones include the HTC Surround, LG Quantum and Samsung Focus, all pictured up top. They all have 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, capacitive touch screens and 5-megapixel cameras. They will each sell for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

New technology to pick up audio during busy sporting events…
It’s from a company called Squarehead and the device is called Audioscope, and contains over 300 microphones. Picture this – the device is mounted above a stadium and a wide-angle camera looks down on the scene from the center of a disk containing the microphones. All the operator has to do is pinpoint a spot on the court or field using the screen, and the Audioscope works out how far that spot is from each of the mics, corrects for delay and then synchronizes the audio from all 315 of them. The result is a microphone that can pick out the pop of a bubblegum bubble in the middle of a basketball game…”

Microsoft issued its biggest-ever security fix Tuesday, including repairs to its ubiquitous Windows operating system and Internet browser for flaws that could let hackers take control of a PC. The new patches aim to fix a number of vulnerabilities including the notorious Stuxnet virus that attacked an Iranian nuclear power plant and other industrial control systems around the world. Microsoft said four of the new patches — software updates that write over glitches — were of the highest priority and should be deployed immediately to protect users from potential criminal attacks on the Windows operating systems.

Entertainment news –

Ryan Seacrest is in talks with AEG, which is mostly in the live-event business, and talent agency CAA about teaming up to create a new cable network. The discussions are in the early stages, according to The Live Feed, but the partners are discussing programming that would be “music, pop culture and lifestyle oriented.” Seacrest would continue working with E!, where he hosts and executive produces the daily “E! News” show and produces “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and other shows.

A Michigan couple convicted of trying to extort $680,000 out of “Glee” actor John Stamos were each sentenced Friday to four years in prison. Allison Coss and Scott Sippola were hoping to receive sentences of less than two years in prison, but U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar ordered a stiffer punishment.

The Cigar Guy is actually a Cigar Guy’s secret identity has been revealed, and in the end, the truth was right in front of our faces all along. He’s the mysterious grinning stranger in the corner of the now famous Daily Mail Tiger Woods photo from the Ryder Cup last week. Wearing what appeared to be a turban and smoking a cigar the size of a small tree, the absurdly out-of-place Cigar Guy kicked off a worldwide Internet game of Photoshop one-upsmanship. Within moments, Cigar Guy began showing up all throughout history. He’s a mild-mannered, mildly embarrassed young man! (Isn’t that always the way with our heroes?) Cigar Guy is Rupesh Shingadia, a 30-year-old investment analyst who — no kidding — still lives with his parents in South London.

Television news -
Caitlin Sanchez the voice of Dora the Explorer, has filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Nickelodeon that claims that she didn’t receive her promised cut of Dora revenue. “Caitlin traveled around the U.S., promoting the Dora Brand, and making over one hundred interview personal appearances… Defendants have never compensated her for her promotional work,” the 35-page lawsuit states. Sanchez was recently fired as the star of the animated program. “Caitlin’s voice changed and she was no longer able to portray the Dora character, as happened with the actress who originated the role,” the network said in a statement.

“Two and a Half Men.” Angus T. Jones, 16, who plays Charlie Sheen’s nephew, has inked a $300,000-per-episode contract.

PBS station KCET said Friday it’s dropping out of the public TV system and going independent because of a dispute over fees and programming. Starting in January, the Los Angeles-based station’s schedule will include some current shows along with new fare that reflect Southern California’s “diverse” voices, KCET President Al Jerome said in a statement. “After four decades as the West Coast flagship PBS station, this is not a decision we made lightly,” Jerome said.
Fired CNN correspondent Rick Sanchez said Friday morning that he would “absolutely” return to CNN if offered the opportunity, acknowledged he had “a chip on his shoulder,” apologized for his “offensive comments” and called Jon Stewart “the classiest guy.” In his first TV interview since being fired for his comments last week about Stewart and Jewish people in the media industry, Sanchez appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a chat with George Stephanopoulos to once again apologize. Talking about his comments, he said: “Not only were they wrong, they were offensive.”

Tina Fey will return to “Saturday Night Live” in a primetime special, a representative for the NBC sketch comedy series confirmed. Fey, Rachel Dratch and Amy Poehler and will be among the former cast members who appear in “The Women of SNL,” which will air Monday, November 1 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. Also participating: Nora Dunn, Ana Gasteyer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon and current cast member Kristen Wiig.

Larry Wilcox, best known for his role as Officer Jon Baker on CHiPs, was charged Thursday with securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prosecutors said the former TV star was part of an “illicit kickback scheme to manipulate the volume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales.” According to the complaint filed by the SEC, the 63-year-old actor created a phony company, the UC HUB Group, through which he received kickbacks from Anthony Mellone, the CEO of Tri-Star Holdings Inc.

TV journalist Laura Ling, who was held in North Korean captivity last year, will host a one-hour news show on E!. Set to premiere Dec. 8 and a departure from the network’s gossip-heavy fare, E! Investigates will explore more serious issues. The first two episodes will focus on teen suicide and the lives of military wives.

After 11 years of marriage, Courteney Cox and David Arquette have separated, the couple announced in a joint statement on Monday afternoon. Courteney and David initially met on the set of “Scream” in 1995. Three years later, in October of 1998, they announced their engagement. They tied the knot on June 12, 1999.
Chelsea Handler is getting another show on E! and signs on to star in a half-hour comedy titled After Lately.. It will be semi-improvised and focus on behind-the-scenes of Handler’s talk show. No premiere date has been set, but eight episodes have been ordered. Handler, 35, most recently hosted MTV’s Video Music Awards.

Fox is turning Napolean Dynamite into a cartoon. The network has ordered six episodes of an animated version of the 2004 indie comedy. The original cast, including Jon Heder, will return to voice the awkward high schoolers.

“The View” co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set Thursday during a contentious interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. As the cast debated whether there should be a community center and mosque built in Lower Manhattan, O’Reilly declared that “Muslims killed us on 9/11″ to back up his position that it’s “inappropriate.” “Oh my God!” Goldberg responded, before uttering a few words bleeped out. “Muslims didn’t kill us on 9/11?” O’Reilly responded. “Is that what you’re saying?”Goldberg called O’Reilly an “extremist” as several of the co-hosts responded to O’Reilly’s statement that “Muslims” — and not Muslim radicals, extremists or terrorists — killed “us” on 9/11.

Music news –
Though he has a pending cocaine felony charge, newcomer Bruno Mars is aiming to reach the stars by writing hits for others and doing the same on his debut CD, ‘Doo-Wops and Holligans.’

Taylor Swift’s former manager is suing her for millions of dollars in commissions. Dan Dymtrow says he discovered Swift, signed her in April 2004, and helped build her career. He was axed a year later, right before Swift signed a deal with Big Machine Records and became a superstar. Dymtrow claims that his deal with Swift and her parents allowed him to be paid between 5 and 10 percent commission from Taylor’s music career, and that he was fired so the Swifts could avoid compensating him. “They delayed and delayed [the deal] and got rid of my client and subsequently signed the deal and kept his commissions for themselves,” Fernando Pinguelo, Dymtrow’s attorney, told the Reporter. Dymtrow also said he introduced Swift to the agents that ended up in charge of booking her concert gigs so he’s entitle to profit from forming that relationship.

Passing- Solomon Burke – Blues & Rhythm artist. He was 70.

Has Miley Cyrus finally gone so far with her increasingly sensual image that she’s been condemned by her own father? Well, no, not exactly. But her racy new music video, “Who Owns My Heart?,” has been slammed by the Parents Television Council. Funnily enough, when you check the list of folks sitting on the advisory board for this conservative watchdog group, the biggest-name celebrity listed there is—you guessed it—none other than Billy Ray Cyrus!

Appearing on CBS’ “60 Minutes – Rapper Eminem reveals that… he does not cuss at home. “Profanity around my house? No,” said the rapper when asked if his real life vocabulary mimics that of his records. “I’m not saying there’s not glimpses of me in the music, [that] there’s not truth in…things that I say, but this is music, this is my art.”

George Michael is out of jail. The singer, 47, was released after serving almost four weeks of an eight week jail term for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. Thrown in the slammer Sept. 14 after driving his Range Rover through the storefront of a photo shop in London July 4, the Wham! singer admitted he had smoked marijuana and had taken a sedative. He pleaded guilty to the charge soon after the accident.

Justin Bieber, the 16-year-old R&B singer has teamed with Nicole for OPI to start a line of fingernail polishes based on his songs. The “One Less Lonely Girl” collection comes out in December with six shades, including “Give Me The First Dance” (silver), “Prized Possession Purple” (grape), and “Me + Blue” (dark blue). Eight additional shades will hit stores in January. The polishes will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart.

Christina Aguilera and her husband, Jordan Bratman have split. They’ve been separated for a few months actually.

Passing – General Norman Johnson, lead singer of The Chairmen Of The Board at the age of 67. Their big hit was “Gimmie Just A Little More Time” and earlier – with the Showmen – a hit called “It Will Stand.”

Top albums this week –
Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kenny Chesney
I Am Not A Human Being – Lil Wayne
You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band
The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted – Gucci Mane
Clapton – Eric Clapton
Passion, Pain & Pleasure – Trey Songz
Recovery – Eminem
A Thousand Sunds – Linkin Park
Hands All Over – Maroon 5
Invented – Jimmy Eat World
A Year Without Rain – Selena Gomez & The Scene
Le Noise – Neil Young
WAKE UP! – John Legend & The Roots
Incarcerated – Lil’ Boosie
Rehab – LeCrae
My World 2.0 – Justin Bieber
Now 35
Guitar Heaven – Santana
Enjoy Yourself – Billy Currington
The Social Network Soundtrack – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson
I Am The West – Ice Cube
Telephantasm – Soundgarden
Sigh No More – Mumford & Sons

Top movies this week –
The Social Network
Life as We Know It (1st week – $14.635 million)
Secretariat – (1st week – $12.6 million)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga”Hoole
My Soul to Take (1st week – $6.9 million)
The Town
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Easy A
Case 39
You Again

Hip Thursday night TV (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘S–! My Dad Says’
FOX: ‘Bones’
NBC: ‘Community’ and ’30 Rock’ — 30 Rock goes live tonight
PBS: ‘This Old House Hour’
Food Network: ‘Good Eats’ — 8:30 start
HGTV: ‘Property Virgins’ and ‘My First Place’

9:00 to 10:00
ABC: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
CBS: ‘CSI’
FOX: ‘Fringe’
NBC: ‘The Office’ and ‘Outsourced’
A&E: ‘The First 48′
Bio: ‘Creating the World of Harry Potter: The Magic Begins’
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.’ — The reunion episode
Discovery: ‘Storm Chasers’ — (120 minutes)
DIY: ‘The Vanilla Ice Project’* — Two episodes
Lifetime: ‘Project Runway’ — (90 minutes)
Spike: ‘TNA Wrestling Impact!’ — (120 minutes)
SyFy: ‘Destination Truth’
TLC: ‘Lottery Changed My Life’
truTV: ‘Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest Criminals’

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: ‘Private Practice’
CBS: ‘The Mentalist’
NBC: ‘The Apprentice’
A&E: ‘The First 48′
Bio: ‘Creating the World of Harry Potter: Characters’
Bravo: ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’*
Cooking Channel: ‘Cook Like an Iron Chef’
DIY: ‘Rehab Addict’* — Two episodes
Food Network: ‘Food Feuds’
FX: ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and ‘The League’
HGTV: ‘House Hunters’ and ‘House Hunters International’
ID: ‘Wicked Attraction’
Lifetime: ‘On the Road With Austin & Santino’ — 10:30 start
MTV: ‘Jersey Shore’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Morays: The Alien Eels’
Science Channel: ‘Blowdown’

11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): Chinese TV host Yang Lan; Klaus Schaub, Chairman, World Economic Forum
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Ron Artest; Michael Clark Duncan and Omarosa
‘Watch What Happens: Live’ (Bravo): Cast members from ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Author David Rakoff
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Amy Brenneman
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Mark Wahlberg; Bill Bellamy; performance by David Otunga
11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Rapper Diddy; Emma Stone; performance by Diddy-Dirty Money
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Wanda Sykes; Kevin McHale
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Author Bill Bryson

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Josh Duhamel; Julia Stiles; performance by Nas and Damian Marley
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Tony Danza

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Drew Carey; Jenny Wade
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Pee-wee Herman; author Nick Hornby; performance by Ben Folds

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Filmmakers Amir Bar-Lev and Seth Gordon; performance by City and Colour

Mr. Pop Culture Report – Let’s Review Last Week… December 15-21 2010. The World’s Largest And Best This Week In Review Place.

From the Mr. Pop Culture database – the largest of its kind:

Week of December 15-21 2010 – The week in news, pop culture, trends…

Police investigating a possible serial killer have determined that four decomposed bodies found recently along a remote New York beach are all women. The four bodies were systematically dumped, perhaps over a period of 18 months or longer, along a desolate, wind-swept stretch of highway that on sunny summer days transports thousands to the white sands of Jones Beach, police said.

LAS VEGAS — Waving a gun, a motorcycle helmet-wearing bandit ordered wide-eyed gamblers and dealers back from a Bellagio craps table, and quickly stashed at least $1.5 million in casino chips into a bag. As he fled, casino security had a choice: Let the armed robber escape, or get into a dangerous shootout.In the end, the bandit casually jogged out of the posh resort — every step captured by surveillance cameras, and broadcast later around the world. He disappeared into the neon light of the Las Vegas Strip.

India – Firefighters searched a gutted garment factory  for more possible victims of a devastating fire that trapped workers and forced some to jump to their deaths. At least 29 fatalities were reported. No more bodies were immediately found, said Nilufar Yasmine, a fire department official.

Consumer prices increased slightly last month as food and energy costs ticked up, but there was little sign of widespread inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1 percent in November, less than the previous month’s rise of 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday. In the past year, prices have moved up only 1.1 percent.

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 39 people, including a newborn baby, at a Shiite mourning ceremony, state media reported. The attack, which also injured 90 people, took place outside the Imam Hussein Mosque in the port city of Chahbahar, near the border with Pakistan, the official IRNA news agency said.

Oops!  Mr. Pop Photo – Mick Jagger From 1964 Wearing A WMCA (radio) ) Goodguy Sweatshirt. Now back to the week of December 15-21, 2010…

For the second time this year the House voted to dismantle the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress at changing a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity. The strong 250-175 House vote Wednesday propels the issue to the Senate, where supporters of repeal say they have the votes but perhaps not the time to get the bill to the floor. It could be the last chance for some time to legislatively end the 1993 law that forbids recruiters from asking about sexual orientation and troops from acknowledging that they are gay.

In a reach across party lines the Senate overwhelmingly passed sweeping legislation Wednesday to prevent a Jan. 1 income tax increase for millions and renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The 81-19 roll call cleared the way for a suspenseful vote in the House on Thursday, where rebellious liberals announced plans to try and stiffen an estate tax provision they oppose as too generous to the rich.

President Barack Obama told war-weary Americans on Thursday that enough progress was being made in Afghanistan to begin withdrawing U.S. troops in July, even as he faces growing doubts about his war strategy. Obama, under pressure to show results after criticizing his predecessor George W. Bush for neglecting the war, insisted that U.S.-led forces were scoring gains against the Taliban and al Qaeda but warned they were fragile and reversible.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been named Time’s “Person of the Year” for 2010, joining the ranks of winners that include heads of state and rock stars as the person the magazine believes most influenced events of the past year. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest “Person of the Year” since the first one chosen, Charles Lindbergh; he was 25 when he was named in 1927, Time said Wednesday. Zuckerberg beat out Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II by just two weeks: She was 26 when she was named in 1952.

The founder of WikiLeaks said Friday he fears that the United States is preparing to indict him, but insisted that the secret-spilling site would continue its work despite what he claims is a dirty tricks campaign. Assange spoke from snowbound Ellingham Hall, a supporter’s 10-bedroom country mansion where he is confined on bail as he fights Sweden’s attempt to extradite him on allegations of rape and molestation.

President Barack Obama signed into law a huge, holiday-season tax bill extending cuts for all Americans on Friday, saluting a new spirit of political compromise as Republicans applauded and liberals seethed. The benefits range from tax cuts for millionaires and the middle class to longer-term help for the jobless.

The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session Sunday amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a North Korean warning of a “catastrophe” if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire drill. Russia called for the meeting, and Moscow wants the U.N.’s most powerful body to adopt a statement calling on North Korea and South Korea “to exercise maximum restraint” and urging immediate diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions.

Pakistan’s top spy agency denied Saturday that it helped unmask the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad, dismissing speculation it was retaliating for a U.S. lawsuit linking the Pakistani intelligence chief to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.

The latest in a series of powerful storm systems is bearing down on California, pelting mountain areas with heavy rain, snow and high winds, prompting evacuations and leaving thousands without power. Virtually the entire state has been affected by the storms.

An explosive device was found Tuesday under a subway-car seat in Rome and bomb-disposal experts were examining whether it was an attempted Christmas season terror attack, officials said. The ANSA news agency said the device was in a package that had wires, pipes and explosive powder.

There have been growing concerns in Europe about holiday season attacks following a suicide bombing in Sweden and official fears of an assault on a European city modeled on the deadly shooting spree in Mumbai, India.

Moon eclipse – The 3 1/2 hour celestial spectacle was visible from North and Central America where skies were clear. Portions of Europe and Asia only caught part of the show.

Secrets about Apple Inc.’s iPhone were among insider trading tips that led to the arrests Thursday of three employees at public companies and a sales executive at a California expert-networking firm, authorities said as they boosted to six the number of arrests in a wide-ranging Wall Street insider trading probe.

Steve Jobs action figures that got so much press last month has sold online for $2,500. The SJ Action Figure, you may recall, was hand-painted doll that sold for $99 until Apple) complained to M.I.C Gadget — its Chinese manufacturer — that the toy constituted an unauthorized use of a person’s name or likeness and threatened to sue under California Civil Code Section 3344. Only 300 were made.

Nielsen Study – In the U.S., 33% of young mobile users have smartphones. Italy had the highest smartphone penetration among youth (47%), and India had the lowest (10%). One surprise: Most young U.S. smartphone users (55%) are female. In every other country studied, most young smartphone users are male.

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a proposed new framework for protecting consumers’ privacy online. The plan centers around a “Privacy Bill of Rights” that would encourage better transparency about data collection online, according to the Commerce Department’s report on its policy recommendations. It would promote “informed consent” for consumers through simple notices that clearly state what personal information will be collected and what will be done with it.

New York Gov. David Paterson contradicted his staff, the Yankees and common sense when he falsely claimed he always intended to pay for five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium, a state commission said in assessing him a $62,125 fine.

In a report from The Environmental Working Group  indicats that millions of Americans are regularly drinking hexavalent chromium, made famous in the film “Erin Brockovich” as a carcinogen, through their tap water. The group tested water from 35 U.S. cities and found that samples from 31 cities contained hexavalent chromium. The highest concentrations were found in Norman, Okla.; Honolulu; and Riverside, Calif. The substance had been a widely used industrial chemical for decades and has evidently leached into the groundwater in many areas.

Federal regulators adopted new rules Tuesday to keep the companies that control the Internet’s pipelines from restricting what their customers do online or blocking competing services, including online calling applications and Web video. The vote by the Federal Communications Commission was 3-2 and quickly came under attack from the commission’s two Republicans, who said the rules would discourage investments in broadband. Prominent Republicans in Congress vowed to work to overturn them.

Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation’s population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West. The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation’s population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation’s population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000. Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.

The State Department is ordering most of its personnel to leave Ivory Coast because of what officials are calling a deteriorating political and security situation and growing anti-Western sentiment. A disputed presidential election has led to deadly violence in Ivory Coast and threats of international sanctions if President Laurent Gbagbo refuses to relinquish power.

Sports – The Yankees Wanted Him – But the Phillies Got Him Instead! The The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to terms late Monday night with Cliff Lee, the prized left-hander who pitched for them in the 2009 World Series, according to a baseball executive told of the deal. The executive was granted anonymity so he could speak freely about a contract that was not completed.  The contract is believed to be for five years and $120 million (or $24 million a year) with a vesting option for a sixth year based on innings pitched. The baseball executive said the Yankees initially offered Lee six years for $138 million (or $23 million a year), then extended the offer to seven years at $148 million.

Entertainment news –

Passing – Director, writer and producer Blake Edwards, who made more than 40 films including the classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the “Pink Panther” comedies, has died from complications of pneumonia at age 88. A spokesman for his wife, Julie Andrews, said Edwards died Wednesday night at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with Andrews and immediate family members by his side.

Vince and wife Kyla Weber welcomed daughter Locklyn Kyla Vaughn into their family on Saturday in Chicago, a rep for the “Wedding Crashers” star has confirmed.

While the top two searches of the year went to the oil spill debacle in the Gulf of Mexico and the World Cup in South Africa, Miley Cyrus earned the honors of the Year’s Most Searched Person on Yahoo! Miley was a fixture on the cyber scene this past year, with the ending of her long-running Disney show, “Hannah Montana,” her on-again off-again relationship with now ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, her provocative dance moves in an Adam Shankman video, her parents’ highly-publicized split and the most recent video leak of her holding a bong smoking what was reported to be the herb Salvia. Following Miley on the list of most searched celebrities was reality queen,Kim Kardashian. The “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” star was quite busy in 2010, earning her a spot at the top of The Daily Beast’s “Highest Paid Reality TV Stars” list. On Yahoo!’s Most Searched list, she was #4 overall.

At 88-years-old, actress Betty White had a year that would have been remarkable at any age. For her influence on entertainment and culture in 2010, AP members voted her Entertainer of the Year.

Music  news -Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, he announced on his website. “Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of,” the 69-year-old “Sweet Caroline” singer said in a statement. “I think it’s great. I’m happy that they recognized me and my work.” Artists are eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first single or album, although Diamond began recording in the 1960s.

Garth Brook’s offer to perform a benefit concert for Tennessee flood  Victims has become nine sold-out concerts beginning on Thursday night, and the music star said he was overwhelmed by the response. Brooks, the all-time best-selling star in country music, will raise at least $4 million for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for the nine concerts over six days. Merchandise sales could raise another $1 million. Brooks announced in October that he would do one show in Nashville to benefit the foundation. When tickets went on sale November 3, he sold out nine shows in four hours.

Troubled rapper DMX was sentenced to one year in prison by an Arizona judge on Thursday after admitting he violated his probation by drinking alcohol, court officials said. The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was on probation for attempted aggravated assault and using a fake name to avoid paying a $7,500 hospital bill.

Arizona Superior Court Commissioner Christine Mulleneaux said DMX would receive credit for 113 days already served in prison while he awaiting trial.

It’s a sad day for Parisian “little monsters” after Lady Gaga’s concert in Paris has been canceled due to complications arising from a severe storm. The princess of pop took to Twitter early Sunday morning to vent her frustration, Tweeting, “All 28 of my trucks for the Monsterball [tour] were detained by the French government going on over 26 hrs, 2 of my employees were arrested trying to get into Paris so we could perform.

Kanye West has been named MTV’s Man of the Year.
The rapper won the honor for his “compelling” comeback story after starting the year as a villain, thanks to his infamous mic-swipe from Taylor Swift, and ending it as a “hero.”

After a self-imposed hiatus, West started his comeback in May, releasing “Power.” Two months later, he joined Twitter, unleashing infinitely entertaining stream of consciousness in 140-character bursts. By the fall, he wowed fans with his performances on the MTV VIdeo Music Awards and Saturday Night Live; directed a short film, Runaway; released his album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy; made amends with George W.Bush  – but in a tiff with Matt Lauer.

Shania Twain and Nestle business executive Frederic Thiebaud are engaged. He’s her ex-best friend’s former husband!

Television news –

Larry King’s Last CNN SHow – More than 2.2 million tuned in to watch King’s final CNN show on Thursday night. That may not sound like a huge number, but it was up more than 100% compared to the previous night. King even beat Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity, the perennial 9 p.m. cable news, for total tune-in. Hannity was watched by 2.1 million. But Hannity did beat King among news’ target demographic of 25-54 year olds (543,000 vs. 530,000).

Passing – Steve Landesberg – best known as Detective Sgt. Arthur Dietrich on the long-running 1970s cop comedy “Barney Miller.” He was 65.

The much-touted “Sing Off” finale finale didn’t exactly reach fortissimo, but it helped NBC win the night with its 2.7 ratings among 18-to-49-year-olds. The two-hour show averaged 8 million-plus viewers, but was down 18 percent in the demo from the previous Monday. The premiere of Perfect Couples, which followed it at 10/9c, attracted just a 1.9 in 18-49.

At the movies this week in 2010 –

TRON: Legacy (1st week $44.026 million)

Yogi Bear (1st week $16.411 million)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Fighter

Tangled

The Tourist

Black Swan

How Do You Know (1st week $7.484 million)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 1

Unstoppable

Burlesque

Due Date

Love & Other Drugs

Hit Hits This Week –

Firework – Katy Perry

Raise Your Glass – P!nk

Grenade – Bruno Mars

We R Who We R – Ke$ha

Only Girl (in the World) – Rihanna

The Time (Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas

Just Tthe Way Your Are – Bruno Mars

Bottoms Up – Trey Songz fea. Nicki Minaj

Just a Dream – Nelly

Like a G6 – Far East Movement fea. Cataracs & Dev

Black and Yello – Wiz Khalifa

Dynamite  Taio Cruz

Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You) – Enrique Iglesias fea. Ludacris & DJ Frank E

No Hands – Waka Flocka Flame fea. Roscoe & Wal

That’s All She Wrote – T.J. fea. Eminem

Stereo Love – Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina

Teenage Dream – Katy Perry

Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner

Animal  – Neon Trees

F**k You ( Forget You) – Cee Lo Green

Secrets – One Republic

Coming  Home – Diddy – Dirty Money fea. Skylar Grey

Top Video Games –

Wii Sports

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (PC)

Wii Sports Resort

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Kinect  Adventures (X360)

Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360, PS3)

Just Dance Wii

Mario Kart DS

Donkey Kong Country Returns Wii

Top TV  -

NFL Football: Philadelphia at Dallas NBC
2. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC
3. 60 Minutes CBS
4. Criminal Minds CBS
5. Two and a Half Men CBS
6. The Mentalist CBS
7. Barbara Walters Special ABC
8. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS
9. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People ABC
10. Survivor: Nicaragua CBS
11. Amazing Race 17 CBS
12. The Big Bang Theory CBS
13. Football Night in America NBC
14. NCIS CBS
15. Desperate Housewives ABC
16. Undercover Boss CBS
17. Modern Family ABC
18. Glee FOX
19. Mike & Molly CBS
20. The Defenders CBS

Hip Wednesday Night TV (Dec. 15) (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’
FOX: ‘Human Target’
NBC: ‘The Sing-Off’ — (120 minutes)
PBS: ‘Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’ — Featuring guests Natalie Cole and David McCullough
ABC Family: ‘Disney Prep & Landing’
DIY: ‘Cool Tools’ — Two episodes
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
NatGeo: ‘Lockdown’
TLC: ‘My Skin is Killing Me’
VH1: ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together: Confessions of Rock’s Greatest Groupies’

The rest of the schedule and the late night talk shows after the jump.

9:00 to 10:00
CBS: ‘Criminal Minds’
FOX: ‘Hell’s Kitchen’**
PBS: ‘Paris: The Luminous Years’ — (120 minutes)
A&E: ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ — 9:30 start
BBC America: ‘I’d Do Anything’ — (120 minutes)
CNBC: ‘Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising’
Discovery: ‘MythBusters’
DisneyXD: ‘Naruto: Shippuden’
DIY: ’10 Grand in Your Hand’
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
History: ‘Third Reich: The Fall’ — (120 minutes)
ID: ‘The Will: Family Secrets Revealed’
NatGeo: ‘Border Wars’
Science Channel: ‘Oddities’
TLC: ‘Untold Stories of the E.R.’
Travel: ‘Man v. Food: Carnivore Chronicles’
Showtime: ‘Inside the NFL’
USA: ‘Psych’

10:00 to 11:00
CBS: ‘The Defenders’
A&E: ‘Storage Wars’ — Two episodes
Bio: ‘Biography’ — Former husband to Sandra Bullock, Jesse James
Bravo: ‘Top Chef: All-Stars’
Cooking Channel: ‘Bitchin’ Kitchen’
DIY: ‘Holiday Wrap-Up’ and ‘Disaster House’
E!: ‘E! Investigates’ — The real-life military wives
G4: ‘American Ninja Warrior’
HBO: ’24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic’
ID: ‘Hookers: Saved on the Strip’
MTV: ‘Challenge: Cutthroat’**
NatGeo: ‘Wild Justice’
NatGeo WILD: ‘Python vs. Gator’
Spike: ’1000 Ways to Die’ and ‘MANswers’
TBS: ‘Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns’ — Two episodes
TLC: ‘The Boy With Bloody Tears’
Travel: ‘Pasta Paradise’
truTV: ‘Full Throttle Saloon’
USA: ‘Psych’


11:00
‘Charlie Rose’ (PBS): TBA, though the cast and director of ‘Blue Valentine’ may appear since they were pushed back last night due to a tribute to the late Richard Holbrooke
‘Watch What Happens: Live’ (Bravo): Phaedra Parks and Atlanta housewife Apollo Nida
‘The Mo’Nique Show’ (BET): Shante Broadus; Aldis Hodge; Anjela Johnson; Anoop Desai, LPA
‘The Daily Show’ (Comedy Central): Paul Rudd
‘Chelsea Lately’ (E!): Ciara
‘Conan’ (TBS): Amy Adams; Roger Waters; performance by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes

11:30
‘Late Show With David Letterman’ (CBS): Matt Damon; performance by Florence & the Machine
‘The Tonight Show’ (NBC): Jason Segel; ‘Top Gear’ hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood
‘The Colbert Report’ (Comedy Central): Laird Hamilton

Midnight
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ (ABC): Jeff Bridges; performance by Diddy
‘Tavis Smiley’ (PBS): Kevin Spacey; Amy Adams
‘Lopez Tonight’ (TBS): Mila Kunis; Dr. Drew Pinsky; Chrisette Michele

12:30
‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (CBS): Seth Green; magician Jamy Ian Swiss; performance by Ruth Gerson
‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ (NBC): Paul Rudd; Jon Lovitz; performance by Aloe Blacc

1:30
‘Last Call With Carson Daly’ (NBC): Adam Carolla; actor Casey Pieretti; performance by School of Seven Bells

Hip Saturday Night TV (Dec 18)  (TV Squad)

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: ‘I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown!’
FOX: ‘Cops’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — 8:30 start
Univision: ‘Sabado Gigante’ — (180 minutes)
CNN: ‘A Soldier’s Story’
Discovery: ‘Ten Commandments of the Mafia’
Food Network: ‘A McConaughey and Fieri Feast’
Hallmark Channel: ‘Battle of the Bulbs’ — (120 minutes) Daniel Stern and Matt Fewer star as feuding neighbors who compete in the annual Christmas lighting contest
HGTV: ‘Color Splash’
History: ‘The Naturalized’ — (120 minutes)
Style: ‘How Do I Look?’**

9:00 to 10:00
FOX: ‘America’s Most Wanted’
NBC: ‘WWE Tribute to the Troops’
Bio: ‘Celebrity Ghost Stories’
CNBC: ‘The Suze Orman Show’
Discovery: ‘I (Almost) Got Away With It’
Disney Channel: ‘Fish Hooks’ — Two episodes
DIY: ‘Renovation Realities’
ESPN: ‘New Orleans Bowl’ — Ohio vs. Troy
Food Network: ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’
Style: ‘Lucky’s 10 Biggest Obsessions Ever’
We: ‘Downsized’

10:00 to 11:00
Animal Planet: ‘Pit Bulls and Parolees’
BBC America: ‘The Graham Norton Show’ — Barry Manilow; Katherine Jenkins; KT Tunstall
CNBC: ‘Til Debt Do Us Part’
Cooking Channel: ‘Two Fat Ladies’ — Two episodes
Discovery: ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’
HBO: ‘Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 – The Stand-Up Special’
MSNBC: ‘Lockup: Raw’
Style: ‘The Dish Salutes 2010′s Craziest Moments’
We: ‘Downsized’**

‘Saturday Night Live’ — Host Jeff Bridges with musical guests Eminem and Lil Wayne

Mr. Pop Culture Report – September 29… A Pop Culture President… Why Is “Dancin With The Stars” On My Newscast Nite And Day?… Is It Possible To Get 300% More Gas Milage? … Obama Loves His Music…

Ashton Kutcher  is President of of Pop Culture (which means he was hired by popchips and this is their new ad campaign). He needs a V/P. Any votes for Mr. Pop Culture and his 3,000 week-by-week library?

From Asheene K – Our local “Eyewitness News” in Los Angeles features “Dancing With The Stars” updates on its morning and evening newscasts. As a story. All the time. Everyday. Why?

Mr. Pop History – Who knows? It’s not news, but a concise plug for the show. Why this show? I have no idea, but someone, somewhere wants it on the news. Makes you wonder and it must tick-off the producers of other ABC-TV shows. This one is getting quite a ride – and in the news, no less.

200% to 300% more gas mileage from a car? It’s possible. It’s being done. The story is amazing. Developing…

Cover of the Rolling Stone – Is President Obama and his music. We get a glimpse inside his iPod. Should be interesting.

Visit the largest week-by-week resource on the planet. It’s free, it’s here. And, you can pick a week – and dedicate it to anybody. Your week. Your way. A service of mrpopculture.com and www.mrpophistory.com

I

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 16

Out Of The Woods – Tiger Woods said he will return to golf next month at the Masters, ending a four-month hiatus brought on by a sex scandal that shattered his image as the gold standard in sports. “The Masters is where I won my first major and I view this tournament with great respect,” Woods said in a statement. “After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.” Woods has not competed since Nov. 15 when he won the Australian Masters for his 82nd victory worldwide. Twelve days later, he crashed his car into a tree outside his Florida home, setting off shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife.

Estate Slate - Michael Jackson’s estate has signed the biggest recording deal in history: a $200 million guaranteed contract with Sony Music Entertainment for 10 projects over seven years, according to a person familiar with the deal. The record-breaking contract through 2017 could be worth up to $250 million if certain conditions are met. One of the albums will be of never-before-released Jackson recordings that will come out in November.

The Hunt Is Over - The syndicated “Bonnie Hunt Show” is being canceled after its second season due to low ratings (what else?). The show averaged a .8 share.

Interesting – President Obama is set appear on Fox News to rally last-minute support for the health care reform bill. Bret Baier will sit down with Obama tomorrow for an interview regarding the proposed legislation. The interview will be followed by an in-depth panel that will analyze Obama’s responses. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill later this week.

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 2000 -

Madonna says she is pregnant with her British-beau Guy Ritchie.

Paul McCartney confirms he’s involved with a former swim wear model named Heather Mills. “She’s a very impressive woman. We are an item.”

VH-1, in an answer to its “Divas” specials, is doing a “Men Strike Back” concert featuring Sting, Tom Jones, D’Angelo, Enrique Iglesias, and the Backstreet Boys.

Television news –

MTV’s Tom Green says he is battling cancer, but that he should be OK.

Friday night television –

CBS – College basketball, David Letterman

NBC – Providence, Dateline NBC, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien

ABC – Boy Meets World, Sabrina, The Hughleys, 20/20, Nightline, Politically Incorrect

WB – Jamie Foxx, Steve Harvey, For You Love

Fox – World’s Wildest Police Videos, Greed: The Series

PBS – Washington Week, Wall St. Week

MTV – Total Request Live, Dari

VH1 – Movie (That Thing You Do) , The List

HBO – Dennis Miller Live – Tim Robbins

Jay Leno – Michael Imperioli, Enrique Iglesias.

The List – Most underrated artist. Charles Barkely hosts, with Sammy Hagar, M.C. Hammer, Nile Ridgers, Bobcat Goldthwait